This walk leads from The Harley Gallery and The Portland Collection museum to Creswell Crags.
Explore art through the ages by visiting both attractions - from cutting edge contemporary art at The Harley Gallery to ice age rock art at Creswell Crags. Entry is free to both venues. There may be a fee for additional onsite attractions.
Distance: 1.5 miles (2.4km)(round trip)
Time: 40 minute (round trip)
OS Map: Explorer 270, Sherwood Forest
Visitor parking in the main car park, located next to The Courtyard at Welbeck. (GPS 53.261234,-1.179231)
The car park is open Monday - Saturday, 8am - 6pm. Sunday, 8am - 5pm. Closed Easter Sunday and over the Christmas period. Free parking.
1. Walk from the car park to the woodland path, located by the main entrance. Follow the footpath along the A60 and cross over the road to the adjoining trail. Follow the path until you reach the lodge on the left-hand side.
2. Turn left down the footpath and follow the path down the lane.
3. At the end of the lane, pass through the gate into Creswell Crags car park. A footpath runs along the left-hand side of the car park to the visitor centre. From here, you can explore the visitor centre or follow the signs to the gorge.
4. Once you have visited Creswell Crags, you can return the same way you arrived, or extend your walk and discover the Hidden Gem Trail.
The Harley Gallery & Portland Collection
Situated in The Courtyard at Welbeck, the award-winning Harley Gallery shows contemporary exhibitions by leading artists.
The Portland Collection museum, alongside The Harley Gallery, displays works of art from Welbeck’s significant historic collection, which has been amassed over 400 years by the Dukes of Portland and their families. It showcases treasures ranging from full-length oil paintings by great masters to one of the largest privately-owned collections of miniatures. The collection also includes books, letters, silverware, ceramics and furniture.
Creswell Crags in North Nottinghamshire is a limestone gorge honeycombed with caves and smaller fissures. Stone tools and remains of animals found in the caves by archaeologists provide evidence for a fascinating story of life during the last Ice Age between 50,000 and 10,000 years ago. Further evidence came to light in 2003 with the discovery of Britain’s only known Ice Age rock art.
It is also home to the biggest concentration of ‘witches’ marks’ found in British caves. "Apotropaic" marks were scribed into the cave surface as they were thought to keep evil spirits coming from the underworld. Hundreds of these protective marks, believed to be from the 17th and 18th Centuries, were discovered in 2018.
George Stubbs and Creswell Crags
"Creswell Crags on the border of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire is the setting in several pictures by George Stubbs produced in the 1760s. The limestone gorge is shown from different viewpoints and varying accuracy to frame a series of equestrian subjects, both observed and imagined. Situated on the Welbeck estate of one of Stubbs' patrons, the 3rd Duke of Portland, Creswell Crags in Stubbs' art forms a striking landscape for the display of rural pursuits, aristocratic authority and becomes a field for exploring themes of aesthetic theory, natural history and human antiquity." Stephen Daniels, Professor of Cultural Geography, Nottingham University. An extract from 'Horses and Landscapes: George Stubbs.
Works by George Stubbs are periodically on show in The Portland Collection museum. Discover more about their current displays here.
Stay with us
We have a selection of holiday accommodation here on the Welbeck estate that will make your visit extra special. Stay in the heart of the Welbeck Village in The Winnings or select a stay in a nearby village at Holbeck Farm Barns or Stable Cottage in Belph.